Friday, June 24, 2011

Today Could Be Your Last.

It could. Today could be your last day on this earth. Today could be the last time you hear the Gospel. This moment could be the last opportunity you have to surrender before your Lord and King. This very second could be the last time the offer of mercy and eternal life  is extended to you.

Today could be your last.

It was Miguel's. Not this very day, but "today" more than a month ago when the Gospel message was proclaimed to him for the last time in his life. I remember coming down from my room and seeing him sitting at the table in the dining room. I didn't know who he was. I simply greeted him and went about my business; I was too busy with my own affairs to be getting into the Urban's affairs. After all, he was there to see them, not me. I was in the house with him and his relatives but didn't witness to them.

But Lina did. Through a series of providential circumstances, he had met Josef and Lina once before, and they had preached the Gospel to him. He was really open. This day Lina sat down with them and again shared with him the hope of salvation in Christ. He received the Word and had an apparent desire to surrender his life to Christ...whatever the cost. And there would be a cost. He was a federal police officer, and like the majority of police in this country, he was crooked. And not only that--he was also buddy-buddy with the Mafia. But he seemed willing to pay the price, to repent and do what was right as a police officer, to glorify the infinitely worthy Christ with his life. He left the house hungry for the Lord and for His Word, assuring Lina that he would get right with God.

Facing death was nothing foreign to Miguel; he had already been shot at in the past--being severely wounded--due to his Mafia ties and dealings; he had already stared at death in the face, and by God's grace he had survived.

But, tragically, only a few weeks after seeing him the Lord would have him come near the door of death again...and this time he would not emerge victorious. It was a shock for me to hear it when Lina first told me. It was all over the news, she said...two gunmen murdered him in cold blood. Walking along the sidewalk, right outside a government building in the city where he lived, he was met by the hired killers. He tried to flee, but they managed to trap him, do him in, and get away. That it was a hit job was obvious; that he was the main target was undeniable.

Reading the online news reports was utterly sad. But alas! A glimmer of hope: some of the news reports stated that he had retired from his police job only some weeks earlier! Talking with Lina, she told me that the last time they spoke he mentioned that he was going to be transfered to another city soon. He was going to continue working. There was no reason whatsoever for him to quit the force.'s hoping that he actually repented and trusted in the Savior, and had had enough of his life of corruption and crime. Here's hoping that he left behind what he knew didn't please the Lord. Here's hoping that he indeed did come to know the living God. 

Will we see him in heaven? I truly hope we do. I may never know, this side of eternity. I may not know many things in this life, but there is one thing I'm certain of--

Today could be your last. Are you ready?

Monday, June 20, 2011


I've just started a new blog in SPANISH, "No Me Avergüenzo" (I Am Not Ashamed). It's designed to encourage and equip believers to step out in faith and boldness and proclaim the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. I pray that it will be a helpful tool for my Spanish-speaking brethren, and as a result the Good News will be proclaimed far and wide across Spain and Latin America, especially in those areas that have never heard it before. Please pray with me that the Church would be equipped and edified by this new endeavor.

And if you speak Spanish, please SUBSCRIBE to the blog! Click on the link below to go to it.


Thanks and God bless,

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Saturday Night in the Summer Rain

So the rain season has commenced. In Guadalajara, it starts to pour in summer...and boy does it really POUR. The showers here are similar to that of the jungle; the climate is hot and humid, and it can suddenly and unexpectedly start to rain at any time of the day...heavy rainstorms that tend to flood the city with water. But showers only typically last a few hours at the most. They are almost always accompanied by booming thunder and stark flashes of lighting in the distance. One doesn't have to live here very long to realize that there's a good reason why a world famous Mariachi song describing this city includes in its lyrics:

"Guadalajara, Guadalajara, hueles a pura tierra mojada" ("Guadalajara, Guadalajara, you smell like pure wet dirt").

Well, we kicked off the summer rain season with some evangelism on Saturday. Just as brother Alex picked up Giancarlo and I to go to Centro a thunderstrom began. It didn't last very long.

When we got there the rain had stopped, but many people had either gone home or were still hiding under a shelter somewhere. Still, there were a few people in the area where we normally preach that did stick around to listen to us.

No...I'm not singing here. I'm just very unphotogenic.

Alex preaching while Giancarlo (red shirt, center) talks to a street photographer (on his left with the light brown hat). He turned out to be a very stubborn, unreasonable Jehovah's Witness. Giancarlo promptly called me over to help him, and I brought along my JW tracts. I offered him a brand new one I had recently printed about the Watchtower's false prophecies. He refused to take it, giving the excuse, "I don't want it, I already have that one." I couldn't help but smile and insist, "Sir, what do you mean you already have that one? This is a brand new tract!" Even an unbeliever who was listening in on us recognized the man's phoniness during the entire conversation and called his bluff. As he was unwilling to listen I didn't try to stump him or anything, I just begged him in love to please turn to Christ and leave his false organization and religion. Our earnest pleas to him to find refuge solely in Jesus apparently only hardened him more in he left.

Alex passionately explaining the Gospel to this interested gentleman. He sat through Alex's entire open air message and then through mine, and afterwards just sat there reading a tract one of us had given him. Alex then approached him. He seemed very open to Christ and His Gospel, and quietly and intently listened as Alex expounded the way of salvation to him.

Please pray for both men. The Lord can just as easily save one as the other; nothing is impossible with Him (Luke 1:37).

Monday, June 6, 2011

Trip to San Antonio, TX

A little late posting it, but last month I visited Grace Community Church. Had a great time of fellowship with the brethren there; it was a blessing to see them again, and to be able to catch some of their zeal for the Lord and His Gospel.

With the bros at Fatty's.

I hadn't eaten these incredibly good burgers in almost a year.

The Lord is opening up many doors for this church to take the Gospel to the criminal infested, sin-ridden areas of San Antonio, to establish and strengthen several church plants in nearby cities, and to support missionaries from all over the world. Please pray that the Lord continues to use them, to bless them, and to give them the strength, direction and power to labor hard for the Gospel! (And that He raises up brethren from there to come here and help us, that would be awesome!)